Watch: UK PM Rishi Sunak sledges his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese with infamous ‘sandpaper’ comment

During this UK PM Rishi Sunak and Australian PM Anthony Albanese
Image source: Twitter UK PM Rishi Sunak and Australian PM Anthony Albanese during the Vilnius NATO summit

Ashes 2023 excitement reached new heights when United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak joked with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese on Tuesday, July 11. Sunak further escalated the cricketing rivalry by reminding Albany of the infamous Sandpaper Gate scandal that occurred five years earlier.

Sunak and Albanese met each other on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 2023 Vilnius NATO summit and turned the occasion into a sporting contest. First, the Australian PM represented the craze with a photo of Australia’s leading scoreline Ashes From 2023 2-1. Sunak also photographed Mark Wood and Chris Woakes celebrating their return to the Headingley Test.

Then the Albanians take the competition to the next level by teasing Sunak Johnny Bairstowcontroversial dismissal by Alex Carey at the Lord’s Test and said, “I was going to be really active”. That picture apparently incensed the UK prime minister, who jokingly reminded Albanese Australia of its involvement in the infamous Sandpaper Gate scandal in 2018. Sunak said, “I’m sorry I didn’t bring my sandpaper with me.”

The English media and fans felt cheated by Bairstow’s dismissal at Lord’s. Several former cricketers raised the issue of ‘rules over the spirit of cricket’ and hit back at the Australian cricket team for not reversing their decision.

Sunak also felt there was a break between overs when the English wicketkeeper made his mark to join Ben Stokes at the other end. Following the incident, Mr Sunak’s official spokesman said: “The prime minister agrees with Ben Stokes who said he would not want to win a match like Australia’s.”

Meanwhile, on the pitch both Australia and England are doing their best to make this one of the most talked about Ashes series. With a 2-1 lead, Australia remain favorites to lift the coveted trophy, while a win at Headingley will give England extra motivation ahead of the fourth Test starting in Manchester on July 19.

latest cricket news